The Lockitron Bolt is a Bluetooth-enabled electronic door lock for your home. Using a smart lock like this one, you can unlock your home without keys.
Have you ever gotten a few blocks from home and suddenly had that chilling thought, “did I lock the door?” Or arrived home after a long night out to discover your house keys were still in the pocket of your coat, on the host’s bed? If you have, then you know exactly what a smart lock like this is worth. Choosing the right one means understanding the options, and making sure your choice fits your needs and your budget.
The Lockitron can connect to nearly any smartphone, allowing you to use an app to control access. It’s cheaper than most comparable electronic deadbolts but lacks some of the features of its more expensive cousins.
The Lockitron Bolt
Smart features are becoming more and more popular in the home. These days, it’s not just your garage that can be automated. You can set your smartphone to control lights, appliances, security systems and more on a schedule. With the Lockitron Bolt, that applies to your deadbolt as well. It ships with the Bolt Smart Lock, cylinder assembly, four AA batteries and two keys.
The Lockitron is compatible with any iOS or Android device. With the optional Lockitron Bridge, it becomes compatible with any Wi-Fi device that can access the internet. You can control the lock from within the free Lockitron companion app and website—or make use of the Bluetooth feature to set your lock to open based on proximity, turning your lock into a hands-free device.
Smartphone compatibility also means that it’s a breeze to give a family member, employee or someone else a key to your home or business. You can allow their smartphone access from within the app, erasing the need to have a new physical key made. It also makes it easier to revoke access, so you can avoid having to go through the process of changing your locks. Plus, the app is reasonably well-designed and easy to use. Even better is its ability to set temporary access, allowing you to grant short-term access to your home to contractors, delivery people or anyone else.
One of the best features the Lockitron Bolt has is that you can key match your existing keys. In essence, you’re able to get a new lock, but still able to use your old house keys. If you rent or own a business, your landlord’s keys (and keys held by other people) will still work even after replacing the lock, allowing for a smoother transition.
If you purchase the Lockitron Bridge with the Lockitron Bolt, a new range of options opens up. Once connected to Wi-Fi via the bridge, the Lockitron becomes unlockable from anywhere you have an internet connection, rather than the 30- to 40-foot range allowed by Bluetooth. You’re also able to use voice commands via Alexa with the bridge. Also, you can receive notifications from within the app when the lock is accessed.
It’s also possible to purchase a keypad and use a PIN for entry. With the keypad, you can also issue temporary PINs or assign them to family members as needed.
The lock comes with everything needed to install it yourself, as well as directions, making installation a breeze. Here’s a video by the manufacturer explaining some of the features of the Lockitron Bolt:
The price is one of the biggest draws for the Lockitron Bolt. At only $99 via most online retailers, as well as being available at Target, it’s one of the cheapest options on the market. The optional Lockitron Bridge adds $79 to the price for a total of $179. The keypad option costs an additional $49.
How It Compares
Unfortunately, the best selling point the Lockitron Bolt has over the competition is merely the price. Most smart locks on the market come with more out-of-the-box features and options. If the price is not your sole motivator, there may be better options for you, such as the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect, or the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt.
The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect
This smart lock allows you to track every use of your lock. On top of that, it has a feature called “DoorSense” which lets you know whether or not your door is properly closed and locked. Much like the Lockitron, it allows you to keep your keys, as this option attaches to your current deadbolt. Unlike the Lockitron, however, it comes with voice-enabled features out of the box. You’re immediately able to use Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri to control your lock. It also has an auto-lock feature that most competitors lack, including the Lockitron Bolt.
Installation is no-fuss and incredibly easy. All you need is a screwdriver and about 10 minutes, and then to set up the app.
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
The Schlage Sense has one big drawback: As an Apple HomeKit device, it is only fully compatible with iOS devices. You can use most of the options with Android, but you will not be able to use the device to the fullest potential.
However, if you’re an iPhone user, it comes with an excellent range of options. It is fully integrated with Siri voice commands, so you can simply tell your phone, “Open the front door,” and it will instantly do so. Like the Lockitron, it requires a bridge (in this case, an Apple TV) to connect to your router and be usable from anywhere. It comes with a built-in touchscreen keypad, and the companion app has an in-depth installation video to help you through the installation process. It also has a relatively loud tamper alarm.
The major draw for the Schlage Sense is that you can connect it to other smart home and home security devices that are compatible with the Apple HomeKit. You can add it to a system with lights, thermostats, security cameras, and door and window sensors, making it one of the easiest options to integrate into a smart home.
Pros and Cons: The Verdict
If you’re looking for a low-cost smart lock for your home, the Lockitron Bolt might be a good solution for you. With geofencing and the ability to unlock once it detects your smartphone in proximity, it has the ability to turn your door’s deadbolt into an easy-to-use hands-free device.
The biggest pro of the Lockitron Bolt is the price. At less than $100, it’s one of the cheapest options on the market. It’s also easy to install and comes with a fantastic app to control access to your home. If you choose to buy the bridge and keypad, you have even more options when it comes to home security. Many people who have purchased the lock have praised the fact they can keep their keys. Also, when it comes to granting access to your home or business, it’s nice to be able to issue temporary keys that can be invalidated later, removing the need to collect physical keys or change locks.
Unfortunately, when compared to the competition, the weaknesses of the Lockitron Bolt become obvious. It’s lacking many features that more expensive competitors have, like integration and voice control. If you purchase the bridge and the keypad, the price becomes comparable to other market options that are better out-of-the-box. Many users have also complained about durability, the app draining battery power, and poor customer service.
While the Lockitron Bolt is a cheap, relatively solid option for a smart lock, it’s clear that you get what you pay for. Depending on your needs and budget, it might be a good choice, or you might want to look at other market options for an upgrade. We rate the Lockitron Bolt three out of five stars.
Featured Image: Screenshot, by Lockitron, via Lockitron